How to Recycle Crayola Markers [A Step-By-Step Guide]

Crayola markers have been adding bursts of color to classrooms, offices, and homes for ages, sparking creativity. 

But, with more focus on saving the environment, we need to figure out the right way to get rid of these markers.

This article will not just talk about the chemicals in it but will also guide you to recycle crayola markers step by step. 

We’ll also chat about crayon recycling programs and why burning plastic markers isn’t what Crayola calls recycling. 

And, of course, we’ll check out why recycling markers is a cool idea. So, let’s dive into the details about the stuff in Crayola markers that needs a bit of attention.

Hazardous Chemicals Found In Crayola Markers

Crayola markers, like many traditional markers, may contain hazardous chemicals such as xylene and toluene

These chemicals, while common in the manufacturing of markers, pose potential risks to both human health and the environment.

Xylene, one of the chemicals found in some markers, is known to be associated with respiratory and neurological issues

Prolonged exposure or improper handling of markers containing xylene can have adverse effects on individuals, especially those with respiratory sensitivities.

Toluene is another chemical often present in markers and can also be harmful. It may irritate the respiratory system and, in higher concentrations, can lead to more severe health issues.

Given these potential risks, it’s crucial to handle the disposal of markers containing these chemicals with care and environmental responsibility. 

Proper disposal methods, such as participating in recycling programs or using dedicated collection points, help ensure that these hazardous substances are managed in a way that minimizes harm to both people and the planet.

Now that we are aware of the potential hazards, let’s explore sustainable ways to Recycle Crayola Markers

Recycle Crayola Markers [A Step-by-Step Guide]

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1. Check for Recyclability 

When it comes to markers, not all can be recycled normally. Check what type you have.

Crayola markers, for instance, can’t go in regular recycling bins. 

But Crayola has a cool program called ColorCycle. Schools can collect used markers and send them to Crayola through ColorCycle for recycling. 

It’s a way for schools to help the environment by properly handling old markers.

2. Separate Components 

If you’re not able to participate in the Crayola ColorCycle program, you can still reduce waste differently. 

Disassemble the markers by separating the plastic casing, ink reservoir, and nib. 

This makes it easier to recycle each part individually, contributing to a more environmentally friendly disposal of the materials.

3. Reuse or Repurpose 

Before you toss your markers into the recycling bin, think about giving them a second chance through reuse or repurposing

If there’s still some ink left, use the markers until they’re empty. Another option is to get creative and find new uses for the plastic casing. 

Whether it’s for DIY crafts, art projects, or other imaginative endeavours, repurposing the casing can add a touch of sustainability to your creative pursuits. 

4. Local Recycling Programs 

Check with your local recycling centre to see if they take markers. Crayola’s ColorCycle is for schools, but your local facility might accept certain marker types or plastics. 

This helps you dispose of markers responsibly and supports local recycling efforts.

Remember, recycling options differ, so staying informed ensures you make eco-friendly choices for marker disposal.

5. TerraCycle Programs 

You can also Check out TerraCycle programs for unique recycling options. TerraCycle partners with brands to recycle items that are hard to recycle conventionally. 

Even though Crayola markers aren’t part of TerraCycle’s programs right now, keep an eye on their website for updates. 

TerraCycle is dedicated to recycling challenging items, making it a useful resource to stay informed about new opportunities for responsible disposal. 

Crayon Recycling Programs

Going beyond what individuals can do, various organizations and companies are making big moves to ensure a greener future for art supplies. 

Some businesses have started crayon recycling programs where they gather used or broken crayons, melt them down, and give them new life as brand-new crayons. 

These programs aren’t just about cutting down on waste; they also support the idea of a circular economy. 

This means that instead of tossing out old crayons, they’re being transformed into fresh sources of creativity. 

When you take part in these programs or support companies with eco-friendly ideas, you’re playing a role more sustainably and responsibly in handling art supplies.

Crayola: Disposing of Burning Plastic Markers is Not Considered Recycling

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Burning old markers might seem like an easy fix, but Crayola wants us to know it’s not recycling.

When markers burn, they let out harmful stuff into the air. This bad air adds to pollution and can make people and nature sick.

Burning plastic markers releases things like dioxins, furans, and VOCs. These are not good for our breathing and can even cause cancer.

Breathing in these pollutants can harm our lungs, and it’s not just us—animals and the environment suffer too.

Crayola, being responsible, says let’s do better. They ask us to toss markers more smartly.

Instead of burning, Crayola suggests recycling or using local programs. It’s an easy way to do good for the environment.

In this next section, let’s delve into the wider advantages of recycling markers

Benefits of Recycling Markers

1. Protecting the Environment

Recycling your Crayola markers is like giving them a second chance and, at the same time, protecting our environment. 

When markers end up in landfills, their chemicals, like xylene and toluene, can harm the soil and water, risking ecosystems. 

By recycling, you help keep these harmful substances away from landfills. This isn’t just good for the environment; it’s a way to keep our planet’s ecosystems healthy and thriving.

2. Energy Smart Recycling

Recycling markers, especially with programs like ColorCycle, does more than cut down on waste. 

It saves energy by turning used markers into clean energy. This cool method lowers the demand for making new energy, making things more sustainable and eco-friendly. 

Getting involved in marker recycling lets you be part of a bigger effort to save energy and create a greener future.

3. Green Team Spirit

Joining marker recycling efforts isn’t just for personal benefits; it’s about feeling a shared responsibility in your community. 

When people team up for recycling, it helps everyone understand how throwing away markers impacts the environment. 

This shared effort encourages communities to adopt eco-friendly habits, making the world more sustainable. 

In short, being part of recycling projects in the community builds a culture where everyone is excited to help create a greener and eco-friendly future.


Crayola markers have a bigger story than just coloring paper.

When we watch out for dangers, recycle responsibly, support recycling efforts, and listen to Crayola’s tips, we make sure these art tools help create a greener and brighter tomorrow. 

So, let’s keep our world creative and paint it green by being kind to the environment! 🌎🎨


What to do with dried-out Crayola markers?

If your Crayola markers have dried out, don’t toss them!
You can try reviving them by dipping the tips in water or using a bit of rubbing alcohol. If that doesn’t work, it’s best to recycle them.
Crayola even has a program for marker recycling, so check if you can send them back to the company.

Can colouring pens be recycled?

Yes, many colouring pens, including Crayola markers, can be recycled.
Look for recycling programs in your area or explore Crayola’s recycling initiatives.
Proper recycling ensures that these pens don’t end up in landfills, contributing to a more sustainable approach to art supplies.

Are Crayola markers okay on the skin?

While Crayola markers are generally safe for use on paper, it’s not recommended to draw directly on the skin.
If you want to get creative with body art, Crayola offers special products designed for that purpose, like washable markers specifically made for the skin.
Always follow product guidelines to ensure safe and enjoyable colouring experiences.